Haute n the Kitchen

Entertaining Inspired by my Travels & Traditions

It has been crazy beautiful in Austin for the past week. Temps around 80 degrees and big cloudless skies. At night we have seen like 60 degrees. Bottom line – its like we are really having Fall! It is truly one of the biggest things I miss from the east coast, the Autumn Season. I am one of those goofs who likes to go to a real pumpkin patch, who buys apple cider (preferably on a road side stand), who wears tweed skirts and tall brown boots at any chance, who opens every window in the house and waits for the cool breezes, who cooks up a big pot of – butternut squash soup! Yes, these things signal the arrival of fall to me. I also like to host a “Harvest Dinner Party” and decorate the house with ornamental pumpkins like the ones below; red orange and deep burgundy flowers, creamy white candles everywhere and yup, butternut squash soup – well at least to start!

Then, maybe smoked quail with a blackberry coulis or maybe a fig-orange-port reduction with a big platter of roasted fall veggies and a simple green salad. For dessert – apple pie, of course. Or maybe apple tarts with a little nutmeg gelato.

Harvest

Harvest

Aren’t these wonderful. When did gourds and pumpkins become so hip? When I was a kid it was the good old orange pumpkin pure and simple. Now…you name it. Every size shape color and personality disorder you can imagine. If I had to be an ornamental pumpkin, I would want to be one of those miniature white pumpkins. Why? Well, I would still be in fashion even after Labor Day and I do love white especially somewhere you don’t expect it.

Love These!

Love These!

Just in case you have caught the Fall bug as well, here is my recipe for Butternut Squash Soup!

Baked Apple Butternut Soup

 

1

 apple, cored, peeled & cubed *Use a red varietal like fiji

1

 butternut squash, halved vertically

2

tablespoons butter

1

celery stalk, finely chopped

1/2

cup shallots, chopped

4 1/2

cups chicken broth

1

cup apple juice

2

teaspoons nutmeg

2

teaspoons cinnamon

1

teaspoon vanilla extract

4

teaspoons crème fraiche

 

S&P

1

handful toasted pumpkin seeds

                nutmeg

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Halve the squash vertically and scoop out seeds. Brush with olive oil, season with S&P, and add a teaspoon of nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla to the hollowed-out section.

Roast the squash in oven for about 45 minutes, until it’s soft. Remove and let cool.

Core, peel, and chop the apple. In a stock pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat; add the celery, shallots, and a few pinches of S&P. Cook until transparent and soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the apple and the squash, and stir to combine with the savory bits in the pot. Add the other teaspoon of nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla, and stir again. Add the apple juice and chicken broth; cook over medium heat for about 10 more minutes, stirring often to blend the flavors. Remove pan from the heat. Using a handheld blender, puree mixture to a nice, creamy consistency. Test for S&P.

Serve hot with a dollop of crème fraiche on top sprinkled with fresh ground nutmeg and toasted pumpkin seeds.


Categories: Eat

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